On Saturday the Esplanade & Thompson’s Charity Gala Dinner was held in the Esplanade showroom and raised a staggering £21,000 which will be divided equally between Isle of Wight charities; KissyPuppy – The Sophie Rolf Trust, Isle of Wight Sports Foundation and UKSA.
It was a fantastic and busy evening with lots going on to keep guests entertained. The evening began with 130 guests arriving for a welcome drink and singing from Esplanade team member Phoenix Lopes. They were then treated to a fine 3-Course meal by Robert Thompson and his talented team.
Esplanade Group Sales Director David Weston compered the evening and introduced the charities to the stage to each give a talk to about what they do and why charitable donations make a real difference to the people they support.
There were also fun games of ‘guess the balloons in the car’ and ‘heads or tails’ with winners each receiving a bottle of Champagne as their prize.
There were many gifts donated by Island and offshore businesses for the raffle and auction. Everyone was highly entertained by Auctioneer Nick Bonham who used his skills to masterfully engage the attendees to bid generously. A total of £8,610 was raised from raffle and auction alone.
Once the meal and auction were over guests were free to enjoy the rest of the evening’s entertainment which included a disco, casino, photobooth, bar and caricature portraits.
Espanade were pleased to inform the charities that they would each be receiving £7,000 and they all had comments to make:
Ben Willows UKSA Chief Executive said, “A huge thank you to everyone at Esplanade for such wonderful support through their Gala event. It’s always a very enjoyable night and the funding support means that we can continue empowering Island children through our programmes, including Test the Water, which is offered to all Year 6 children on the Island to come and build vital skills, including water confidence. It is only with the generous support of local funders that we are able to deliver these programmes and it means so much to have the support of Esplanade and Robert Thompson.”
Gemma Blamire of KissyPuppy said, “We feel incredibly lucky to have been chosen to be supported once again and wow what an amazing amount raised. It really does make such a difference to our little charity, and without kind people like Esplanade and Robert Thompson we would not be able to continue Sophie’s wish to help other Island children. We are sure Sophie would have a big smile on her little face at the number of pennies raised. Every single penny we raise goes straight back into the charity and this will help us carry on making memories for children and their families as well as ensuring the vital services we provide can carry on.
Chairman of the Isle of Wight Sports Foundation Claire Beasley said, “The trustees of the Isle of Wight Sports Foundation are very grateful to all at Esplanade and Robert Thompson. This donation will enable us to award further grants to our member clubs for the coming year. They all need support for training and coaching costs, equipment, and facilities maintenance.”
Organiser Gemma Swain, Group Marketing Manager for Esplanade said of the gala, ‘In our 6-year partnership with Robert Thompson we have always jointly covered all the costs associated with running the event, meaning that 100% raised goes directly to the charities. The total now raised over the 6 years is a staggering £118,470.
“On behalf of the Esplanade and Thompson’s team I would like to thank all the guests and businesses who attended and gave so generously. This is a great event, and it means so much to us all to be able to support charities that are so important to our local community.”